What You'll Learn
  • To reach this stage you long ago determined that interests are aligned and that reaching agreement is in both parties' interests, is likely, and for the most part is mutually desirable
  • Knowing when to gain commitment and how best to go about it secures a more lasting agreement
  • Handling impasse graciously and with skill can often lead the parties back to bargaining and on to agreement

Stage 4 is the time for agreement. To reach this stage you long ago determined that interests are aligned and that reaching agreement is in both parties' interests, is likely, and for the most part is mutually desirable. Eager to close negotiations, however, negotiators often make the mistake of bypassing critical elements of the Conclude Stage.

Strategic use of time is a Best Negotiating Practice that plays a key role in this stage as it does in the Exchange and Bargain Stages. Knowing when to gain commitment and how best to go about it secures a more lasting agreement.

Summarizing agreement is another Best Negotiating Practice that is used in more than one stage. Restating what was agreed on throughout bargaining as each issue is resolved keeps everyone clear on what was given by each side. In this section we encourage you to summarize early and often, and give some pointers for final written agreements.

Rarely do you get deep into bargaining and not reach closure, but it can happen. A separation of the parties can be temporary or permanent, and comes when we reach an impasse, deadlock or otherwise make a late decision that no agreement is preferable to the available terms. Handling impasse graciously and with skill can often lead the parties back to bargaining and on to agreement.

Regardless of whether agreement is reached, the parties should still say thank you. Sincere appreciation is another Best Negotiating Practice that applies in the Conclude Stage as well as throughout the negotiation process. Often overlooked, genuine appreciation of the other side's efforts and commitment to the process can have a powerful impact on securing concessions, agreement and compliance – ensuring desired results and performance.